UCR Department of Dance

New Research in Critical Dance Studies Colloquium Series


Roberto Strongman


Mon. Nov. 27, 4:00-5:50 PM, PST

ONLINE / Register to Attend


This talk explores a distinct Afro-diasporic conceptualization of the body that Dr. Strongman calls “transcorporeality.” In stark contrast to Western notions of the body as a discrete and individual biological enclosure, transcorporeality defines an Afro-diasporic experience of the body as an open vessel able to host and transport a plurality of subjectivities simultaneously. This more modular structure is what allows for the phenomenon of trance-possession to take place in Afro-diasporic religions. Dr. Strongman’s presentation will provide a broad overview of this multiple, externalized and removable anima across the corpus of the black Atlantic in order to interpret concrete examples in the Afro-Latinx religious traditions of Cuban Santería/Lukumí and the veneration of the Black Christ of Panamá, both of which have strong representation among diasporic communities in the United States.


Roberto Strongman is Associate Professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, San Diego in 2003. Dr. Strongman's interdisciplinary approach encompasses the fields of Religion, History, and Sexuality in order to further his main area of research and teaching: Comparative Caribbean Cultural Studies. Dr. Strongman's trans-national and multi-lingual approach to the Caribbean cultural zone is grounded in La Créolité, a movement developed at L'Université des Antilles et de La Guyane in Martinique, where he studied as a dissertation fellow. Dr. Strongman’s first book Queering Black Atlantic Religions: Transcorporeality in Candomblé, Santería and Vodou (Duke 2019) is a Lambda Literary LGBTQ Studies Award finalist. He is currently working on a second book project on Afroamerican religion on the Caribbean coast of Panama.


Part of:



Coordinated by María Regina Firmino-Castillo

Assistant Professor of Critical Dance Studies


Cosponsors: CHASS Dean's Office and the Center for Ideas and Society; Center for Ideas and Society Performing Difference Faculty Commons; Holstein Family and Community Chair in the Study of Religion.



For accessibility and accommodations to fully participate in this event, contact us as soon as possible: mariafc@ucr.edu





Image credits:

Pierre Verger. Shango Soundidé Ceremony. Benin. Circa 1930. Fundaçao Pierre Verger. Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

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